The Ligurian coast is home to Italy’s largest seaport as well as some of the country’s tiniest fishing villages. Take in both these extremes by spending a day in bustling Genoa, then heading out along the coastline to explore picturesque Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Here's how.
Genoa, Italy, 16126
Piazza Caricamento is a great central meeting point for groups and many guided tours of Genoa. It was pedestrianized during the 1990s and provides a division between the Old Port and the city center. Most hop-on hop-off tours include a stop here, as a less crowded way to access Porto Antico, along with other notable landmarks including Piazza de Ferrari and Via XX Settembre.
Things to Know Before You Go
A tourist information office is located just under the overpass.
Piazza Caricamento is lined with a number of cafés offering local street food such as focaccia and panini.
The streets of the piazza are cobblestoned, as is most of Genoa, so wear comfortable shoes to walk on the uneven surfaces.
Consider toting an umbrella, as the weather in Genoa can be unpredictable.
How to Get There
The plaza is conveniently located next to the San Giorgio metro station. A number of city buses also reach Piazza Caricamento, including numbers 1, 9, 13, 32, and 635. If driving, there are two parking lots between Old Port and Piazza Caricamento.
When to Get There
Piazza Caricamento and Genoa in general are busiest between May and September. It is best to visit in the spring and autumn for fewer crowds and more pleasant weather. Throughout the year the square hosts various markets, most notably the Genoa Christmas Market in December.
Notable Sights near Piazza Caricamento
There are a few attractions near the plaza for visitors to enjoy. The Palace of St. George (Palazzo San Giorgio), adjacent to the square, has recently painted frescoes that bring the 13th-century building to life. The Genoa Aquarium, Bigo panoramic lift, and Biosphere are also all located in the Old Port, just in front of the piazza. And next to the square, the Morchi Tower (Torre dei Morchi), dating back to the 12th century, is one of the only remaining turrets in the city.
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- Aquarium of Genoa
- La Biosfera
- Palazzo Bianco
- Palazzo Rosso
- Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
- Via San Lorenzo
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Spianata Castelletto
- Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition (Dialogo nel Buio)
- Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale)
- Genoa Via Garibaldi (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi)
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
- Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello)